Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Fresh pappardelle with slow roast tomatoes & pesto

A really simple one this, but is one of my fav pasta dishes and, while not exactly quick, it is easy, especially once you get (or if you are already) comfortable with making fresh pasta.

i've done a rough pesto here here but you could do pistou (no pinenuts or cheese) or even not bother and just scatter some basil leaves over the finished dish.

The secret to making this especially tasty is a) to make nice fresh pasta with good eggs and b) to buy good tomatoes and roast them nice n slow.

Fresh pappardelle with slow roast tomatoes & pesto

Ingredients (serves 2)

For the fresh pasta - this is basic recipe here but if you like it richer you can add more yolk than whole egg, just adjust the volume of egg / amount of flour accordingly to get the right consistency (soft but not sticky):

  • 200g italian pasta flour (type 'OO')
  • 2 large organic free range eggs
  • dash of EV olive oil
For the slow roast tomatoes:
  • best quality tomatoes - between 4 and 8, depending on the size
  • a large clove of garlic
  • some fresh thyme or dried oregano
  • sea salt and fresh black pepper
  • EV olive oil
For the pesto (use the below rough guide or whatever your fav recipe for pesto is):
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked (reserve a few leaves back for garnish)
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons of EV olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan

Make pasta dough - if you already know how to knock up some pappardelle then skip this:

  • i almost always use a food processor for this for ease (and because most restaurants i've worked in do too), though if your processor is huge you might want to do by hand if your doing the smallish quantity above.
  • Processor method basically = sieve flour in to processor bowl, add pinch salt and splash of oil, mix your eggs in bowl then tip in and pulse until well mixed (should form tiny balls), tip out on to work surface and push together to form ball of dough.
  • Knead a little and cover with cling film and, ideally, rest for an hour (while you get your tomatoes and pesto done - see below).
  • Roll out your pasta to the penultimate thickness on the machine, you can do this through any method you please but i think best results come from the folding and turning method (see guide by Giorgio here).
  • Cut resulting sheet in to sections of pasta length (25cm or so, i guess) then cut these into wide strips - 4-5cm or so. You may need little flour or semolina to stop strips sticking to surface etc, but use only a very light dusting (otherwise you get gluey coating when cooked).
  • Preheat oven to about 100 degrees C.
  • Half your tomatoes (across the middle, not through the stalk end - see pic) and place cut side up on baking tray.
  • Scatter with finely sliced garlic, thyme sprigs / pinch dried oregano, salt, pepper and then drizzle liberally with EV oil (option additions include few drops of good quality balsamic, few dried chilli flakes etc)
  • Slow roast in oven for 1hr or even a bit longer.

  • Reserve few basil leaves and then mash the rest with the other pesto ingredients - i like a pestle and mortar here, by all means use hand blender if you prefer.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To finish:
  • Cook the pasta for about 2mins in large pot of boiling salted water, drain and toss with splash of EV olive oil, now divide between two bowls.
  • Place tomatoes around and finish with large helping of pesto, scatter over few reserved basil leaves and drizzle with touch more olive oil.

Hmmm... feel like i made a v.simple recipe sound quite complex there!

Basically boils down to: make nice pasta, cut into pappardelle, slow roast tomatoes, make your fav pesto, put all these together and eat!

N.B great varation on this might involve adding torn pieces of buffalo mozarella to the plate at the end, in which case i'd probably then remove the pesto and just go with plenty of fresh basil leaves.


Lynn said...

I slow-roasted some tiny cherry tomatoes (from our Middle-Eastern supermarket) a while back (polaroid on my Flickr), and used them in a very simple pasta dish with cannellini beans: delicious! I must try them this way too, though...

dynagrrl said...

This looks great!

Luiz Hara said...

Hi Andy, just a quick one to let you know i have been following your blog for a while now, love the recipes and updates, and very pleased to hear of your culinary adventures, particularly Nahm's. I currently work as an investment banker but planning also to take the plunge. You have inspired me! Let me know if you ever happen to be doing any cookery demos or classes in London (Brighton was a bit too far to get to). All the best mate! Luiz

Orce Serrano Hams said...

Love simple food like this, those tomatoes look very appetizing indeed, thanks.

Andy said...

thanks all. need to get some more stuff up on here soon!

lynn - that does sound delicious.

luiz - wow, go for it mate. you thought about doing something part time / after work as way of getting in to it? sure loads of places would let u spend some time in kitchen. drop me an email if u wanna chat more bud.

Robert said...

I tried this pesto a while ago and it was lovely. I tend to find that making types of food that people tend to not think twice about getting from the shops - making my own ketchup or lemonade or pickles or jams, for instance - is one of the most rewarding types of cooking. This was a beaut.